Follow two performers as they break down barriers in opera and country music, “In the Making” on AMERICAN MASTERS – March 24 at 9 pm

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American Masters and Firelight Media Present In the Making Season 2 Beginning March 14, Audra McDonald to Host Broadcast Premiere on March 24 on PBS

The multi-award-winning singer and actress will host the broadcast premiere of In the Making season two, which highlights opera singer J’Nai Bridges and country music artist Rissi Palmer.

Short films featuring actress Lily Gladstone, muralist Sydney G. James and other groundbreaking artists will be available to stream online beginning March 14.


American Masters and Firelight Media announced today the second season of the documentary short series In the Making. The new season focuses on nine artists across a variety of disciplines, whose work explores and influences American culture today. Tony Award–winning actress and singer Audra McDonald hosts the broadcast premiere of American Masters: In the Making, which features two films focused on two barrier–breaking musicians: opera singer J’Nai Bridges and country artist Rissi Palmer. The broadcast premieres on Friday, March 24 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, and the PBS App.

Singer Rissi Palmer with flowers in her hair posing for cameraIn J’Nai Bridges Unamplified, directed by Christine Turner, the Grammy–winning mezzo-soprano takes the stage in A Knee on the Neck, a choral tribute to George Floyd. In Rissi Palmer: Still Here, directed by Dilsey Davis, country music artist Rissi Palmer redefines success as she works on her latest album while uplifting other artists of color in the Americana genres.

“No-one becomes an ‘American Master’ overnight, and of the idea behind In the Making is to take a behind-the-scenes look at the creative processes of artists who are on their way to becoming masters in their field,” said Michael Kantor, Executive Producer for American Masters. “We’re always seeking a broad and diverse national audience – whether on television or online – and are thrilled to continue our longstanding and collaborative partnership with Firelight Media. Whenever we can, we team up with public media’s National Multicultural Alliance organizations, and in this case Black Public Media deserves a big shout-out for their support.”

“With the second season of In the Making, we’re thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with our great partners at American Masters,” said Firelight Media Co-Founder Stanley Nelson. “The In the Making series, which centers on emerging and established artists who are reflecting, shaping, and creating culture today, beautifully advances Firelight’s mission of supporting communities of color both behind and in front of the camera.”

“As an organization that uplifts Black stories and Black storytellers, we are immensely proud to be supporters of films by Black women directors—Christine Turner and Dilsey Davis—about Black women who are emerging masters—J’Nai Bridges and Rissi Palmer,” says Denise Greene, director of program initiatives for Black Public Media.

In addition to the television broadcast of American Masters: In the Making, seven unique short films round out the full season roster and will premiere weekly beginning Tuesday, March 14 on YouTube,, and the PBS App. In February, each short film premiered at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival alongside J’Nai Bridges Unamplifed and Rissi Palmer: Still Here.